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White Rice~Cookin' It Nice!
Come's Out Like Mommy's Every Time
Arroz con pollo, arroz con frijoles negros, arroz con gandules, arroz rojo, y arroz amarillo; translated these dishes are chicken and rice, black beans and rice, rice and pigeon peas, and red and yellow rice respectively.
My mom made all of these dishes and many others while I was a growing kid at home. I used to sit in the kitchen and watch her cook. By doing so, I taught myself how to burn in the kitchen and garnered an appreciation for food that has not left me.
The one dish I make most these days is black beans and white rice, or arroz con frijoles negros. My son, seven, is a very picky eater and yet when a big plate of this is put in front of him, I don't worry if he is going to eat it. Honestly, he woofs it down in about 5 minutes. And it fills him up.
Back in the day, when I sat in the kitchen watching my Mommy cooking, I paid close attention to how she made white rice, as it was the staple dish served up with beans (black, pinto, or kidney). I remember she used to measure by eye the amount of rice needed, place the rice in a bowl and soak it in water for a few minutes. She'd then drain it and repeat that process a second time. She would pick out the dark rice kernels and the rice hulls if there were any present then place it in a pot with water to boil until it got ready. Her rice always came out well, light, and fluffy.
Once I got out on my own, I tried to cook that same pot of rice my Mommy used to make. I used a glass pot, as I felt it cooked better on the stove top. That was the only difference in the process, and yet my rice came out sticky, soft, and not very fluffy at all. I think I struggled with it for several months and then I gave up. I found a rice cooker and used that in the microwave and the results were perfect. Even still, I wanted to know how to cook a pot of rice and see it come out like Mommy's. It wouldn't be until my brother married a Brazilian sistah that I would learn how to make that pot of rice, and make it well.
So the secret to a good pot of rice if u can't cook it like Mom's? Try the following. I make it this way and normally a pot lasts for about three days, but this is for two people. Decide how to double, triple etc the recipe and you will be on your way to adding it to a few other dishes that will fill you like never before.
Long grain rice (Mahatmas is a good long grain rice), extra virgin olive oil, a stock pot, or any pot you feel comfortable cooking with, any cup that you know will equal 1 cup, tablespoon.
What to do:
1. Measure out two cups of the long grain rice into a bowl. I use a little blue cup I know equals 8 oz. and I am not stingy on the rice poured into the cup. You can, like my Mommy, sift through it and take out the rice hulls and any darkened kernels you see.
2. Place your pot on the stove and turn the eye on to 4, or medium heat, if you don't have an electric stove like I do.
3. Measure out two tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil into the bottom of the pot. You can easily pour the evoo by eye into the pan that equals two tablespoonfuls. But use the tablespoon if you desire to be accurate.
4. Let the olive oil heat and when you hear a slight popping, add the long grain rice. Spread it out on the bottom of the pot's surface and saute it like you would any vegetable you might do this way.
5. The rice will turn to golden brown. Getting to where you see it as such might take 4 - 6 minutes. If you step out of the kitchen and the kernels burn a bit, don't worry. Once the rice is cooked and if you've not kept away to long, no one will notice this in its cooked state.
6. When you see the long grain rice is at the golden brown state, cover it with water from tap. Cover it to the top of the rice and then about a 1/2 to 1 inch above this.
7. Let the long grain rice boil and then turn it to 1, or low heat and let it cook. Be sure to place the pot's top on securely. Check on the rice periodically. If the rice is minus water and you taste it with a spoon and it is soft, but a bit crunchy, add more water. You'll have to discern how much, maybe several tablespoonfuls, or to cover it, and then let it cook some more.
8. The rice will be ready within 20 to 30 minutes and you will know it is ready because the steam has cooked the rice to a nice fluffiness, not hard, and not sticky; just right and ready to devour.
Serve the cooked long grain rice with what you like best.
I promise it will come out just like my Mommy's!
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